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Listserv i.e. ability to submit forum posts by email

Current behavior:
Discussions and collaborations between members can currently only be handled online (within forum or blog pages)

Desired behavior:
Listserv functionality where members can mail-in comments and receive email summaries of all comments

Notes:
1) The biggest challenge is how to enable this without overloading our servers with email traffic. This can ramp up quickly.
2) We are starting the work on forum email notifications, this handles this need at least partially.

197 votes
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    Dmitry Buterin shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    137 comments

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      • Brian Wilbur Grundstrom commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The following items from one of the posts below would go a real long way to fulfilling our needs so that we do not have to goto Ning:
        1. Include full text of posts in Immediate forum notification emails.
        2. Include a link marked "To reply to this post ..." that goes to the post.
        3. Tighten the subject line to feature the topic subject and remove unnecessary words.
        4. When a user posts, automatically subscribe them to that topic with frequency Immediate.
        5. Default topic subscriptions to Immediate instead of Daily.

      • TangentRW commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This remains a high priority for us as well. The difference between responding to a forum notification and responding to an email thread in an email client is the difference between night and day.

        We are having to use clumsy email threads (which is a two or three step process, since doing this means getting everyone's permission to disclose their email address to everyone else) to maintain communications and organizing within our organization. We have been pushing the forums recently but they remain pretty dead; the action is in the emails.

      • Marv Mitchell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Having the ability for members to directly send emails to all or selected groups of members would be a huge benefit to our organization. Please put this on the top of your change list.

      • Tom Smith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I see the agreement to provide this functionality and design analysis was published in Feb 2016. Please provide an update on scheduled delivery. We find this to be an important limitation and lacking in comparison to Club Express (which we are considering as an alternative to Wild Apricot). Thank you.

      • Stephanie Deschenes commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I've had our members asking for this for years and they are losing patience with me for not providing it. I'm at a point where I have to look elsewhere and I'd really rather not switch. Please help!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Any update on this?
        It is great to see progress on other useful features (like adding a file to a post or the voting system) and kudos for switch to AWS. But this feature request is the most important for us.

        The phase 1 described below would already solved most of the issue we are facing. In particular the automatic subscription to a topic if you post in it....

      • Corinne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We are considering consolidating our website into the Wild Apricot database and would like also to use WA for some form of listserv. Currently using Yahoo groups which is glitchy, difficult, and no one likes it. We really could use a listserv function on WA or email notification of the discussion forum posts. Axiously awaiting updates!

      • Vickie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is there any progress toward allowing posting and receipt of discussion forum posts by email? This feature has a lot of votes. We're anxiously waiting!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        That said, I would definitely vote for Walt's phase 1. Or at least, let us modify the email notification templates to include the body.

      • Walt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The Wishlist is set up for customers to give you input on specific missing features.

        What we lack is a support forum more suited to exchanging tips with each other and with your support staff about ways we have found to use WA and work around issues and problems.

        We've discussed this before, and I maintain it will cost you less staff time in the long run to have their answers visible to multiple customers instead of just the one who asks, and for users to be able to help each other and reduce the load on your support.

        Lacking that forum, I'll do what I can here to free you up for managing improvements. :)

      • Walt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks for your response.

        We talk a lot on the wishlist about what WA doesn't have, and the things we need to work around, but overall it is a tremendous asset for us. Since switching, we've been able to advertise events, get registrations, have options for online and at-the-door payment, and look so much more professional than our old website with less effort, even though we are a volunteer organization. Our members are more engaged and our membership records more complete.

        I also appreciate your plan to implement top wishlist items this year, and the features you have already added. I particularly like your workaround for color coding events; it has made our calendar more attractive and useful.

        As a programmer since 55 years ago, I've always looked for the most results from the least effort. You at WA have a more meticulous and thorough process and look for complete solutions. This serves you well, and it's necessary in implementing large systems with hundreds or thousands of different users. I understand that it takes time and resources.

        I'm just hoping to persuade you that my fast and cheap approach will be beneficial for this particular feature. :)

      • AdminTeam Husky (Email features, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Walt,

        I’m a designer in Emailing Department Crew in WA and I’d like to answer to our message on behalf of my team.
        First of all thank you for attention to WA and for your undying persistency and passionate desire to help. We highly appreciate your advice and we do hope you still have faith in us.

        As you might know, this year we have an ambitious plan to “pay our customer debt” — our plan to launch as many feature requests from our top wishlist items as we can. For now we already have a complete solution for "Scheduling E-mail Blasts" request (343 votes) which is now awaiting for release and we are in the middle of analysing "Allow Secondary Email" request (290 votes).

        Listserv is also on the list but unfortunately there is no update yet. We just have it on a close view.

        Thanks for being with us

      • Regina Benedict commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please listen to Walt! Or try to hire him! We desperately need the ListServ feature. I don't want to have to change to another membership management program when Wild Apricot seems to meet all of our organization's needs - except for this one.

      • Walt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This feature has the 9th highest vote total of the suggestions not already being worked on. It can be largely addressed with modest development resources. I know you don’t like partial solutions, but please don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

        With apologies for mostly repeating myself, here’s a design that can make this better, in two or three steps:

        Phase 1:

        1. Include full text of posts in Immediate forum notification emails.
        2. Include a link marked "To reply to this post ..." that goes to the post.
        3. Tighten the subject line to feature the topic subject and remove unnecessary words.
        4. When a user posts, automatically subscribe them to that topic with frequency Immediate.
        5. Default topic subscriptions to Immediate instead of Daily.

        This will provide a lot of the functionality of listservs. It’s a big improvement for relatively little effort. It requires no UI changes or additional mechanism inside WA. It shouldn’t require much testing since it only affects the content of the email notifications and one subscription setting.

        Phase 2: Provide some functionality for admins to mass subscribe members to a forum. For example, add a “Subscribe to forum(s)” function to search results. Or add forum subscriptions to member record export and import. No need to include mass unsubscribe; members get an unsubscribe link in notification emails.

        Then later, or instead, implement "Managing email subscriptions to forum updates": http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826331-managing-email-subscriptions-to-forum-updates-941 . The design is already there and just needs a little tweaking.

        This will get almost all listserv functionality. The only difference is having to click a link to reply instead of replying by email, and there are advantages to having it that way: keeping the chatter down and reducing the email load on the servers.

        I hate to beat on you guys. I know there are a lot more needs than resources. But doing at least Phase 1 gets you a lot of customer satisfaction for relatively small effort. I’m trying to get an online discussion going in our club, and the existing forums put up barriers that don’t have to be there.

        Thanks for your consideration.

      • Yvette commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Are there any updates from Wild Apricot regarding this? We need a listserv feature for our members/contacts ASAP.

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